Saturday, February 25, 2006

National Guard Lt. Robert Hayes, Jr.

Remember Our Heroes

National Guard Lt. Robert Hayes, Jr., Marshall, Minn.

Jason DeRusha

(WCCO) A Minnesota National Guard soldier was shot and killed in Oklahoma over the weekend as he was getting money from an ATM, police said.

2nd Lt. Robert Hayes Jr., 27, of Marshall, Minn., graduated from Southwest Minnesota State University in May 2005 with an MBA. He had earned his undergraduate degree from SMSU in 2003. He went to Oklahoma for training shortly after graduation.

Police said Hayes was shot in a bank parking lot in Lawton, Okla. Saturday morning. A cab driver told police he heard gunshots and saw Hayes stagger and fall, but did not see who shot Hayes.

Hayes died about four hours after the shooting at an Oklahoma hospital.

Hayes leaves behind his parents, a brother and a fiancée, Candice Castillo, his college sweetheart who is also an SMSU graduate.

"Why would somebody do this?" Castillo asked. "Why would he be taken away from me? He had so much still to go for himself, his life was just about to begin."

"He was caring and loving," Castillo said. "He was fabulous."

Hayes was planning on moving to Montevideo, Minn. in the next couple of weeks to continue his work for the Minnesota National Guard.

"We were moving in together next week," Castillo said. "I was going to pick him up on Tuesday to bring him home and finally be able to start our life together."

Castillo said it was very odd for her fiancée to be at a bank at 6 a.m. on a Saturday. She said it was his day off and now police are investigating whether Hayes was kidnapped and forced to go to the ATM before he was shot.

While in Oklahoma, Hayes had been attending an Officer Basic Course at Fort Sill Field Artillery School. He was days from becoming a First Lieutenant.

Hayes grew up in Kenosha, Wis. and was a member of the Wisconsin National Guard before moving to Minnesota. School officials said he played football for one year while at SMSU.

National Guard Lt. Robert Hayes, Jr. was killed 02/25/06.


Anonymous said...

RIP Cuz. Love you and gone but not forgotten
lil cuz Patrick

Unknown said...

Rest in peace big cuz love and think about u everyday!